There are a lot of people who think that animals are better than people. Animals don't have a set agenda. They don't exhibit malice (most of the time), and they just try to live their best lives. And in the case of pets, they’re capable of the purest and most loyal kind of love a human will ever encounter. So if you’re one of those people, these 23 movies on Netflix are perfect for animal lovers like you.
Sometimes the need strikes to watch some animal-based entertainment — who doesn’t love a film about lovable furry creatures? Luckily, there are a plethora of movies that’ll satisfy your cravings. This shouldn't be too surprising, given that the streaming service has an enormous library filled with all sorts of animal content.
The films on this list pretty much fall into one of two categories: children-slash-family movies or documentaries. In the former category, you'll find classics based on beloved books like Stuart Little, as well as newer, more lighthearted fare, such as Pets United. And of course, a few inspiring tales are sprinkled in here and there. As far as documentaries go, some of them depict rarely seen animals in their natural habitats, including My Octopus Teacher and A Life on Our Planet. Others focus on the animals or pets we encounter everyday, like Kitty Love. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, each and every one of these movies are meant for those who love our furry and feathered friends. So take a look at these 23 movies on Netflix for animal lovers, and get ready to love your pet even more.
1. White Fang (2018)
Every animal lover should read Jack London’s White Fang at some point. This 2018 Netflix original is based on London’s beloved novel about a feral wolf-dog who eventually becomes domesticated during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 19th century. The animated film takes a more playful spin on the story, with an all-star voice cast including Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, and Paul Giamatti.
2. My Octopus Teacher (2020)
It seems like everyone who watches My Octopus Teacher instantly falls in love with it — it even took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2020. The documentary follows naturalist Craig Foster, who also produced the film, as he spends a year studying with wild octopus in the kelp forests of South Africa. Foster ends up forming an unlikely relationship with the octopus, which adds sentimentality to the otherwise informative project.
3. Stuart Little (1999)
Stuart Little is loosely based on E.B. White’s beloved children’s book of the same name about an orphaned mouse who is adopted by a human family. Those who grew up in the late ’90s probably wished they also lived in the Little house — a quaint, cottage-style townhouse wedged between two high-rise apartments. Re-watching this movie as an adult will probably make you want to live there even more. Who could resist those hardwood floors?!
4. Beethoven (1992)
The film industry’s most famous Saint Bernard is now on Netflix, as is most of the franchise. The first movie sets up the story about a puppy who finds his way into the Newton family’s home. They name him Beethoven, and he essentially becomes the town’s Lassie — until an unethical veterinarian tries to abduct Beethoven for his own lethal experiments. If you love dogs, then you’ll probably love Beethoven and its many sequels.
5. Bee Movie (2007)
Bee Movie has bee-come (get it?) one of the most memeable films in recent years, and no one really knows why. Perhaps the idea of a bee and a human woman falling in love is just too weird to not poke fun at. Anyway, this low-rent Pixar wanna-bee features an impressive voice cast, including Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Chris Rock, and more.
6. Benji (2018)
Benji is a reboot of the 1974 film of the same name about a stray mutt who (like Beethoven) finds his way into the Hughes family’s home and becomes the glue that brings them closer together. Of course, Benji gets into hijinks and buffoonery along the way, but who could arrest a dog who is as cute as he is?
7. Hotel For Dogs (2009)
Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin star in Hotel For Dogs, a family movie about two children in the foster-care system who are neglected by their guardians (played by Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon). The kids begin running a hotel-like service for stray dogs when they search for a home for their own pet mutt, Friday. Fun fact: Cosmo, the dog who plays Friday, has also been featured in movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Beginners.
8. Latte and the Magic Waterstone (2020)
Based on the classic book of the same name by Sebastian Lybeck, this international film version of Latte and the Magic Waterstone sheds light on issues associated with climate change. Latte, a hedgehog princess with a heart of gold, attempts to save her rainforest friends from a drought that not only puts its inhabitants in danger, but also the ecosystem as a whole.
9. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)
David Attenborough is the iconic voice behind many acclaimed projects, including A Life on Our Planet. While its subject matter tackles climate change across all ecosystems, the documentary also highlights how animals are affected by humanity’s impact on the natural world. A Life on Our Planet provides new insight on the world that you may not already know, like how earth is encroaching on another mass extinction.
10. Puss In Boots (2011)
Is there any cat that’s simultaneously as cute and dangerous as Puss in Boots? That’s debatable. Based on the character as seen in the Shrek films, Antonio Banderas returns as the furry fugitive in Puss in Boots, alongside Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws and Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Alexander Dumpty. Cat owners are expected to curl up on the couch with your beloved pet as you watch this movie together.
11. Dog Gone Trouble (2021)
Unlike other dog films on this list, which show stray dogs coming into loving and comfortable homes, Dog Gone Trouble does the exact opposite. Trouble (voiced by Big Sean) is a pampered pooch who finds himself on the streets after his owner dies. However, he soon meets Zoe (voiced by Lucy Hale), a singer-slash-delivery-girl who forms a bond with the orphaned pup. Plus, Cesar Milan makes a cameo as himself.
12. Pets United (2020)
Who says cats and dogs can’t get along? Pets United follows Roger and Belle, a street mutt and a pampered Siamese cat who join forces to take down their city’s evil mayor and his robot army. It’s an eclectic plot, to say the least, but this animated film is a lot of fun for families or an innocent date night.
13. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Okay, so dragons may not be real animals, but the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is just as real as any pet/owner relationship. This sequel to How to Train Your Dragon picks up five years after the events of the first film. The villagers and dragons have made peace — however, a troupe of dragon-snatchers aim to capture and enslave all dragons in the realm, reversing the progress they worked so hard to achieve.
14. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
This Andy Serkis-helmed project is based on All the Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling (who also wrote The Jungle Book). This updated version, titled Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, stars Rohan Chand as the small yet fearless child raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The film features an all-star cast who voice Mowgli’s animal friends, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more.
15. June & Kopi (2021)
June & Kopi is a charming Indonesian language film about a street pup and a house dog who form an unlikely friendship. When a stray dog is adopted off the street by Aya, Ale, and their pit bull Kopi, the family names her June, and she is soon integrated into their loving unit. But it’s not all laughter and smiles — this one is also a real tearjerker (just wait for the end).
16. My Heroes Were Cowboys (2021)
If you’re a fan of Chloé Zhao’s films, then My Heroes Were Cowboys is perfect for you. This short biographical documentary follows Robin Wiltshire, a Hollywood horse trainer who entered his field because of his childhood love of movie Westerns. The subject’s story isn’t the only thing that’ll move you — the sweeping shots and beautiful landscapes will also take your breath away.
17. A Whisker Away (2020)
Miyo Sasaki is a lonely teenage girl looking for a friend. Luckily, she’s finally able to hang out with her crush, Kento — but only by putting on a mask and turning into a cat. A Whisker Away is a magical animated film about young love and self-discovery, but has plenty of whimsical fluff in between to keep the energy light.
18. Growing Up Wild (2016)
Produced by Disneynature, Growing Up Wild is a children’s documentary that follows five different baby animals from various parts of the globe. From lions and cheetahs to chimps and bears, these small but mighty animals must learn how to fend for themselves from the danger that lurks in their habitats. It’s a very educational flick, but you’ll mostly just be cooing over the baby animals.
19. Duck Duck Goose (2018)
Duck Duck Goose may have flown under the radar, but this animated film features a well-known cast of players including Zendaya, Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Fry, and more. Set in China, the film follows Peng, a blithe and chipper goose who is (intentionally) abandoned by his flock. Regardless of the dangers, he vows to reunite with them, and he brings some feathered buddies along the way.
20. Kitty Love: An Homage to Cats (2021)
Abatutu, one of the world’s most famous cats, “hosts'' this silly but informative Netflix series. Kitty Love: An Homage to Cats is exactly what it says: an homage to the domesticated felines. Told through a collection of home videos and more, this series aims to shed light on why cats behave the way they do. It’s purrr-fect for cat owners and lovers alike.
21. Ride Like a Girl (2020)
Have you noticed that a lot of horse-racing movies are based on true stories? Ride Like a Girl is no exception. It’s based on the life and career of Michelle Payne, an Australian horse jockey who became the first female to win the Melbourne Cup. Since Payne took home the prize in 2015, no other woman has taken the honor since.
22. Woody Woodpecker (2017)
Woody Woodpecker, the high-energy and mischievous bird from Looney Tunes, gets the star treatment in his own standalone movie. Voiced by Eric Bauza, the 2017 film follows the eponymous woodpecker as he attempts to stop a devious real estate lawyer (Timothy Omundson) from destroying his habitat to build a home. It may not have been the best reviewed film of that year, but it’s a sure hit for those who like birds.
23. Dancing with the Birds (2019)
For a more informative and expansive view of birds, Dancing with the Birds is a 2019 documentary that examines exotic birds from around the world. Narrated by Stephen Fry, the film delves into the birds’ mating rituals (yes, you read that right). Like the name suggests, many of these rituals involve a dance. It’s lighthearted fun, but you’ll still learn something by the end.
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